IN demonstrating why she is the leading three-year-old filly heading into the Classic series of races, Atomica produced another outstanding performance to land the $3-millon Portmore Cup feature race at Caymanas Park on Saturday.
Sent off as the 1-2 favourite with shared top weight of 57.0kgs (126lb), the victory was well-deserved by the Gary Subratie trainee as Atomica continued to show vast improvement, her mature run displaying true class and talent to get the better of her rivals by an impressive 12¼ lengths after an electrifying run.
It was simply amazing to witness the burst of acceleration by Atomica at the top of the lane. It was electric and it was scintillating as the chestnut filly came home in a new stakes record of 1:32.3 in the Graded Stakes event for native-bred three-year-old fillies over seven and a half furlongs (1,500m).
Before the start of the race Atomica reared up and fell to the ground, but that wasn’t serious enough for her to be scratched. Even after that mishap, Atomica was off to a good start as jockey Dane Dawkins settled her in second place behind the speedy Prncsshootingstar (Youville Pinnock) leaving the intersection at the seven-furlong (1,400m) marker.
It was then a matter of time before Atomica would take over, and the filly did just that approaching the six-furlong (1,200m) marker and never looked back. Still under the hand ride down the backstretch, Atomica opened up her group of rivals navigating the half-mile (800m) turn before exploding in deep stretch for an easy win by a city block.
Our Angel (Robert Halledeen) came from far behind to get second place, three parts of a length ahead Silent Mission (Omar Walker) in third place and Nefertari (Dick Cardenas) in fourth. Champion two-year-old from last season Golden Wattle was never a factor throughout the race and finished a disappointing fifth place.
Bred by Nuclear Wayne out of the Reparations mare Honkeytonyville, Atomica was registering her fourth-consecutive win from as many starts and has garnered lifetime earnings of $3.6 million.
It was the fourth win on the 11-race card for Dawkins as the soft-spoken rider had booted home High Diplomacy in the fourth race for trainer Patrick Lynch; Mila’s All That for trainer Ian Parsrad in the eighth race; and closed the programme aboard Mahogany, also for Parsard.
Meanwhile, former six-time champion jockey Omar Walker rode a career milestone of his 1,200th win. Walker achieved the landmark in the ninth race when he won aboard the Jason DaCosta-conditioned Pretty Girl.
Racing continues today when the colts and geldings will be on show for the Kingston Cup over seven and a half furlongs. First post is at 12:35 pm.
— Ruddy Allen